emmitt till, the freedom rides, the march on washington, police dogs, and fire hoses. the harsh realities of being black in america were impossible to avoid. i came of age with the assassination of martin luther king. i got called nigger and i listen to white man called my mother girl. i sat in the back of the bus, attended a segregated school, i have in the, drank from, and relieve myself at the facilities reserved for people like me. and i suffered all of the psychological, if not physical, damage attendant on those experiences. from that perspective, my life is so much better, and the u.s.